Laughter is the Best Medicine

by Shannon Shull

To live life without a sense of humor, is well, just flat out not good living. I truly believe that laughter is one of the keys to life. Think about comedy – it’s all around us, in some form or fashion in every venue of life. Whether it’s the basis of a television show or a movie, or on the stage, in a book, a cartoon – heck, public speakers and even preachers use comedy to reach people. Even in a tragedy, there is usually a comic relief character.

Laughter is freeing, it breaks down our guard as if to allow joy into our soul. Why do you think comedy outlets are everywhere? – tv, movies, on stage, stand up, cartoons, etc etc… because most people LOVE to laugh and all people NEED to laugh!

You know those moments when you get so tickled at something that you literally laugh yourself silly? You laugh so hard you can feel it in your gut and it rumbles you to your core? Total and utter laughter rippling thru your body…gosh, doesn’t it feel good!!?!?!?! Ain’t it fun!? You are indeed a lucky person if that is a common occurrence for you.

Lord Byron had some great quotes. One of my favorites is, “Laugh when you can – it is cheap medicine.” That Lord Byron was one smart dude.
I’m sure you’ve heard some of the following facts before but, I’d like to remind you so I can make it fresh in our noggins.

Research shows that laughter is seriously good for your health!
– Laughing relieves stress.
– Laughing lowers levels of stress hormones in the body and increases levels of endorphins – (those feel good hormones produced in your brain).
– Laughter increases the number of antibodies produced, which strengthens the immune system.
– Laughing can help lessen chronic pain.
– Laughing is internal exercise! A good laugh exercises the stomach muscles and diaphragm – it relaxes the shoulders and it’s good for your heart too!
– Laughing is an emotional and physical release from stress.
– Laughter distracts us from any problems or worries we may have.

Let’s face it, laughing just feels so darn good!

Now of course laughing isn’t going to make our problems go away – but it sure can give us a healthier attitude towards them!

When we laugh – we can transform our negative emotions – such as anger or frustration or worry, into a happier frame of mind. You know those moments when you’ve gotten so mad about something and something funny happens and daggomit you want to stay mad and keep your pisspot mood, but you just break and have to laugh? You know we’ve all had those moments. I like to think it’s our body’s way of saying, “Get over yourself, let it go, laugh it off and move on!”
When we stop to see the ridiculousness of a stressful or unpleasant situation and attempt to make a funny out of something not so fun, the outcome is likely to be much more favorable.

Now I’ll step down from my soap box and get a little more personal here. In my family, we LOVE to laugh. Right now, my kids are totally into “AFV” – as they call it. America’s Funniest Home Videos is tivo-ed at my house weekly. Lately when we do a family movie night, we just watch episodes of AFV because we like to laugh together. It’s therapeutic. It reminds me of when I was little. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents when I was elementary school age. I called my grandparents Lolli and Pop. And let me tell you, my Pop was a total nut. He was a jokester something fierce. I could write pages and pages about some of the pranks he pulled. We had so much fun together!

One of our favorite things to do was watch The Carol Burnett Show. My Lolli would make popcorn and we’d all sit together on this double sized lazy boy chair thing, prop our feet up, eat our popcorn and laugh ourselves silly while watching the show.

My Pop passed away when I was in high school and my Lolli and I continued the tradition, laughing away the heart ache of his loss as best we knew how. Being together and laughing really was the best medicine. My sweet Lolli joined my Pop in heaven after I graduated from college while I was in my 2nd year of living in California. In her will, all her classic “best of” The Carol Burnett Show videos were left to me. I treasure them to this day.

And as you can imagine, since childhood, I have always been a huge fan of Mrs. Carol Burnett. Ranging from her role as Miss Hannigan in the movie Annie to her role as Eunice on the tv show Mama’s Family. Talk about a comic genius that lady! She and her team of amazing comic stars on The Carol Burnett Show…they inspire me, they wow me, they tickle me pink and make my heart smile!

I never imagined in a million years that I’d one day get the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Burnett. That one day I would call her daughter, Jody, one of my dearest friends. It’s funny how life brings people together sometimes. Maybe my Lolli and Pop had something to do with it. I can guarantee that they’re smiling away in heaven about it all now.

I have a pretty darn cool story about how Jody and I met and bonded and how I met her mother, but you’ll have to come to a very special event to hear about it. Now for my shameless plug – on November 5th at 7:30pm, Shull Studios will be hosting an exclusive event called “Growing Up with Carol Burnett – Intimate Conversations with Jody Hamilton, Emmy® nominated producer and daughter of comedy icon Carol Burnett and legendary producer Joe Hamilton”. Oh Yes! We are flying Carol’s daughter, our dear friend Jody, into good ole S.C. to share her experiences of growing up with such an icon as a Mom, to tell us of her tales growing up in a celebrity world, to enlighten us all and ultimately make us smile and laugh out loud. For details about the event and to buy tickets, go to Shull Studios.

If you’re a Carol Burnett fan, you will not want to miss this ultra special event! And better yet, a portion of the ticket proceeds will be donated to Relay for Life in honor of Jody’s father, Joe Hamilton and her sister, Carrie Hamilton – which makes the night even more special!

So to close out my 2nd EveryWomanBlog entry for all you fellow goddess women and smart male friends who are taking the time to read my words, my advice to you is this…

Allow yourself to laugh more! Remember, it’s good for your health!

Cheers to you all! Watch this video and enjoy a little healthy dose of laughter. It’s on the house, courtesy of comedy icon, Mrs. Burnett …

This entry was posted in Uncategorized by jenniferawilson. Bookmark the permalink.

About jenniferawilson

This blog is intended for general understanding and education about Lexington Medical Center. Nothing on the blog should be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Blog visitors with personal health or medical questions should consult their health care provider.

6 thoughts on “Laughter is the Best Medicine

  1. Amen…. I try to laugh everyday…. the great part also is to be able to laugh at yourself and with others…. Laughter breaks down barriers, lightens the mood in a room and ties the bonds of friendship and family closer. If you can laugh together you will stay closer together. Wonderful words of wisdom.

  2. LOL..LOL..LOL..:)
    Wonderful blog and tribute to Lolli POP..the name you came up with for them that made “me laugh”! Keep writing and laughing!!

  3. Great post and I agree that laughter gets us through just about anything! I feel better when I smile more and laugh often so I try to keep that going as much as possible. We LOVE AFV in our household! We watch it every time it comes on as we are sure to laugh at something and rewind to see it again 🙂 Loved the post and thank you for making me laugh!

  4. Great blog Shannon!! I do believe laughter is the best medicine..i get some good laughs in daily, and I too watch AFV especially on Sunday..and my husband thinks it’s too funny at how i laugh when i watch it..they crack me up!! I remember seeing something in one of your other blogs about Lolli and Pop, and I think that’s what I want our grandkids, when we have some, to call us, I just love the names..sorry, but i have to steal the names..Love your post, keep on laughing!!

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